Thursday, July 31, 2008

2008 Philly Classic -- Possible Matchups

The initial scoop by Jeff Goodman, discussed my earlier post, "The 2008 Philly Classic", identified the Philly Hoops Classic field for the 2008 tournament. Goodman announced the field of eight teams would include Hartford, Niagara, NJIT, Monmouth, Penn State, Rhode Island, Towson and Villanova. I speculated that the two 4 team brackets (I call them "Bracket A" and "Bracket B" for now) would be...

Bracket A:Bracket B:
MonmouthPenn State
NJITRhode Island

Some detective work by a Villanova message board poster, a preseason news story at the Providence Journal, and finally an official announcement from PSU, provides enough information for me to tease out a bit more about the tournament and the first two rounds. If the posters over at the Niagara message board and the Rhode Island message board are correct (note the Niagara poster wrote his/her entry about two months before Goodman wrote his piece...), then we can deduce that the brackets will be...

Bracket A:Bracket B:
HartfordPenn State
MonmouthRhode Island

We know from last season's Philly Classic that two teams from one bracket (Seton Hall & Virginia) played their round 1 and round 2 games at home, while two teams from the other bracket (Howard & Loyola College) played their round 1 and round 2 games on the road. The other four teams (Drexel, Navy, Penn & Robert Morris) played one game at home and the other on the road. Teams from one bracket played only teams from the other bracket in those first 2 rounds.

Penn State announced that it will host two games (NJIT and then Hartford) and Rhody has leaked that it will play a home game followed by a road game. A Rhody message board poster identified the home opponent as Hartford and the road opponent as Monmouth. Further, the Niagara poster identified Towson (in Niagara) and Villanova (at the Pav) as the Purple Eagles' two opponents -- that means that the Wildcats will get the first two rounds at home and Towson will have a road followed by a home game. If the posters correctly identified the sequence, then Villanova should play their first round game against Monmouth in the Pav, sometime (early?) in the week of 11/16-11/22. The second game (versus Niagara) would have to be played sometime in the window of 11/20 through 11/25. The Palestra rounds (3 & 4, as pointed out by Deal in his comment to my first post...) will be played on Friday 11/28 and Saturday 11/29. With the caveat that the data provided is correct, the preliminary round matchups look like this:

Round #1Round #2
Home VisitorHome Visitor
Niagaravs TowsonMonmouthvs Rhode Island
Penn Statevs NJITPenn Statevs Hartford
Rhode Islandvs HartfordTowsonvs NJIT
Villanovavs MonmouthVillanovavs Niagara

Having a confirmed schedule from Penn State, combined with a pretty good idea from Rhody means all that is needed is a third participant's official schedule to confirm the matchups for rounds 1 & 2.

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